Mr. and Mrs. Doctor
REVIEW by Willard Manus
Julie Iromuanya, born in the USA of Nigerian parents, calls her first novel, MR. AND MRS. DOCTOR, a Midwestern Gothic, but I think a better description of it would be a bold journey into the dark side of the American Dream.
Taking the journey is Job Ogbonnaya, the second son of a wealthy Nigerian businessman who dispatched him to study medicine at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Job unfortunately flunked out of his undergraduate program but, out of weakness and shame, kept the truth from his father, even as he continued to take money from him. The lie that is his American life is compounded when he marries Cheryl, a scatty, drugged-out hippie, just to gain his citizenship. Job keeps up the pretense of being a doctorhe carries a stethoscope wherever he goesbut the only job he can get is a nurses aid in a hospice.
fools his second wife, Nigerian-born Ifi, into believing that hes
an upwardly mobile G.P., saving money so that hell be able to open
his own clinic back in Nigeria one day, where theyll both live like
royalty. Ifi, who works as a motel maid, eventually sees through his con
and turns on him, with a terrifying ferocity and rage. As if thats
not punishment enough, Job must then suffer the sudden, tragic death of
their young son.